The girl’s basketball season has come to an end due to eligibility and injuries. The Clipper’s women’s basketball team finished the season 0-23.
This is the first time in South Puget Sound Community College history that this has ever happened, as well as the first time Coach Heuer has seen these results. He is disappointed to have such a season on his record.
Their last game was against Centralia College, which they lost by 14 points. Since then, all their games have been forfeited.
The reason for this dissappointing season for the Clippers, according to Heuer, started back in the summer when there was a serious lack of recruiting for players.
Originally, there were nine players that had signed to join the team, but one dropped out.
Then, by the time the season would start, only six of those remaining eight players were able to play due to accidents over Thanksgiving break and also eligibility issues.
According to Heuer, Monteakea Norwood, received her fourth concussion. Another player received a partially torn meniscus. She was, however, still able to play games while wearing a brace.
Molly Read later received a torn meniscus, Norwood caught mononucleosis and Alexa Justus quit during the season. All of these events took place within three days, according to Heuer.
Justus quit because the Clippers had not won a game all season and the enjoyment of playing the sport was, for her, no longer there. Heuer felt that her reason for leaving was justifiable; that no one should play if it is not going to be fun.
After much contemplation, the coaches agreed it was best to forfeit the season. In their opinion, it was not fair to the players to continue in the conference. The health of the players was a big concern to the coaches since many were playing 30 to 40 minutes a game with injuries and no substitutions.
However, even with such a poor season, the Clippers were able to gain experience on the court and life lessons.
The hope was to improve their talent by becoming more competitive. However, injuries stopped that from happening and kept the team from moving up in the conference. As a result, the Clippers were not able to see what kind of team they would have to become or the necessary talent they would have to acquire to compete at the top level, as was their hope initially, according to Heuer.
“Competitively and athletically, we are on the right track to become one of the top four teams in the conference,” Heuer said earlier in the season.
He believed that even if they had seven players and with knee injuries, they could still compete well.
Also, the Clippers experienced one of the most difficult pre-seasons in their historty, Heuer said.
Besides that, the team feels that they learned never to take things for granted. Fortunately, there are still six healthy players that attend practice three nights a week and wish to fine-tune their performance for next season.
During this difficult season on the court, the Clippers women’s basketball team also were required to perform well in school.
“I have never lost a kid once [due] to grades,” said Heuer.
To keep students on top of their studies and make sure they are eligible throughout the season, coaches are check grades three times a quarter, they said.
Study hall is also provided for those who want to take advantage of it, and the coaches encourage it.
“Its their grades, its their future,” said Heuer.
The coaches said they will be even more diligent about checking grades next year.
Coach Heuer does not see himself as the kind of coach to put athletics before academics. The coaching staff and school are willing to work with the students so that they excel and succeed in both categories.
For next basketball season, six players are coming back for sure, said Heuer. Among them are Molly Read, Monteakea Norwood, Camille Hicks, and Katie Dilly.
The coaches will also be recruiting heavily for next season. Heuer said he had to learn the hard way this year that aggressive recruiting is a must and will be taking advice from other coaches. He said that to, hopefully, have 11 or 12 players, one must recruit 15-18 students.
With this in mind, Heuer said, “the returning girls will have to compete for position and time.”
The reason behind this is so that next season, there will be enough players to substitute in and out during game time, according to Heuer.
Another thing Clippers fans can expect for next season is maturity. Heuer believes that since the girls will be sophomores, they will have a better understanding of what is expected from them.